Easy gastroporesis test

I've had the standard gastroporesis test at the hospital radiology department. It took most of the morning and was very VERY expensive! I was diagnosed with no gastroporesis.
I discovered a self test I can do myself to test my stomach emptying times.
I've have supplemented high dose pure niacin (not time release) for years and noticed variations in the timing of the unmistakable skin flush sensation depending on what or how much I eat.

i.e. just water on an empty stomach takes me 12-15 minutes for the niacin to hit the intestine and absorb causing the flush. With the standard test sample of 1 egg, 1 toast, milk, takes the niacin 20-30 minutes. Big dinner meals can take an hour or more. Some meals I eat slow the emptying so much that the niacin never creates the flushing because so little niacin hits the intestine quickly just like the time release versions of niacin that are designed so as not to flush.

Knowing what your emptying times can help with timing your boluses and learning which foods might be difficult to digest.

I know there are many who are leery of niacin supplements but I doubt it's as bad as the contrast radiation they use for the alopathic test.

I use a 1000mg pure niacin capsule. After years of niacin the flushing sensation has diminished but it's still unmistakable just not so uncomfortable.

That's very interesting. Part of me doesn't want to know!

Glad you didn't have gastroparesis. I already know I have delayed stomach emptying for other reasons, but I'm not going to try your niacin test any time soon. The discomfort from the flushing for a person who has never taken megadoses of niacin just don't seem worth it to me.

Hi Natalie, I've heard from many that the flushing is so annoying that they have quit but others, like me, find it noticeable but not too discomforting.
I only suggest it as a tool for fine tuning ones square wave boluses for different meals or just too find out if you think you might have some gastroparesis (thanks for correcting my misspelling).

Niacin is definitely not for everyone. It was originally prescribed by my cardiologist because of a very poor lipid profile, and it has been a remarkable treatment for my lipids.

Bernstein uses a simple test called the R-R Interval to diagnose gastroporesis. The R-R interval test is a simple measurement of the heart rate variation between breathing in and breathing out. Abnormal variation is caused by problems with the vagus nerve, and it is damage to the vagus nerve which is the primary cause of gastroporesis. I believe this test can be performed with most ECG machines and most GPs are quite capable for performing the test (although they almost never do).

Dumb, if not dangerous - if done without a doctor's supervision.

Why? Well, the National Institutes of Health web site lists other complications associated with niacin.

Other minor side effects of niacin and niacinamide are stomach upset, intestinal gas, dizziness, pain in the mouth, and other problems.

When doses of over 3 grams per day of niacin are taken, more serious side effects can happen. These include liver problems, gout, ulcers of the digestive tract, loss of vision, high blood sugar, irregular heartbeat, and other serious problems. Similar side effects can happen with large doses of niacinamide.

Some concern has been raised about stroke risk in people taking niacin. In one large study, people who took high doses of niacin had a two-fold greater risk of stroke compared to those not taking niacin.

YOU'RE A 100% RIGHT! I probably should have never posted! At least I should have prefaced my post that this is what I've done and it's been very effective for my heart disease, showing marked improvement by angiography, and had a great side effect of being a tool to fine tune my bolus profiles. ONE SHOULD CHECK WITH THEIR DOCTOR! I did, actually I've been speaking to doctors about it for years, 2 endo's, 3 cardiologist (at one of the top rated cardiology teaching hospitals), my family practice doc, and even a pediatrician (only because they are a close friend). Also with a naturopathic doc who specializes in cardiac and diabetes and is very familiar with niacin research.

I did read the whole study, mentioned on the NIH website, and discussed it with one of the Doc's in the study that found a stroke risk. It was a study that was a combination of Simvastatin and time release niacin and it was halted for a good reason although the study doc's say that it's not cut and dried that it's the niacin for sure. I was recruited for this study but rejected participation because I was already convinced of the niacin benefit for me and I didn't want to be put in the placebo group.

I also failed to mention that I do add 1u of insulin with niacin dosage because there is a definite glucose rise for me and all doc's I've spoken to over the years have cautioned me to adjust accordingly. I never take the niacin if my Bg is high because it will complicate correction.

Even though I've used this as a diabetic tool, I SHOULD HAVE NEVER POSTED, I just got carried away with how well it's worked for me.

I also have heard of reading cardiac rhythm changes upon inhale/exhale using a EKG to help diagnose possible gastroparesis. A much cheaper test.

Thanks Tom, for pointing out this caution.
I apologize!


I think it's fine that you posted. I also agree that a test like this should be performed in consultation with your doctor. If a serious question of gastroparesis comes up in the future, I'll definitely bring this up as a less invasive test, along with the Bernstein study. I don't like the idea of nuclear medicine being the first choice if there are other, less risky, less expensive ways to rule things out. The flush from a few doses of niacin are nothing compared to the flush I get when I open a bill for $1,000 in co-pays from my HMO!!!